Home » 15 Inspiring New Orleans Tattoo Ideas & Designs For The City’s Enthusiasts

15 Inspiring New Orleans Tattoo Ideas & Designs For The City’s Enthusiasts

New Orleans in Louisiana is a wonderful, vibrant city known for its multicultural heritage and amazing places to visit. Situated in the southeastern region of the USA, New Orleans is also known for its amazing weather. The city is a cultural melting pot, and that is reflected in its vibrant culture.

Everything about this city draws people in. It is home to one of the most important ports in the country, the New Orleans University- known for its cutting-edge research programs and fantastic historic districts.

The city has close connections to the French because it was once part of French Louisiana. The city of New Orleans, which was founded in 1718, still has remnants of the French colonists. It’s reflected in the food and architecture of the city. In addition, there are so many places of interest, and exploring the city on foot is so much fun.

Hence, anyone who has ever visited NOLA- as the city is lovingly called- wants to return to it again. And those who belong to the city always regret leaving it behind if they have to move out. But getting a New Orleans tattoo is one of the best ways to etch the memories of this amazing city forever in your mind.

Why Are Designs With New Orleans Theme a Great Tattoo Idea?

New Orleans is so colorful and vibrant that everything about the city will give you ample designs for tattoos. If you love meaningful tattoos, then NOLA tattoos are the best.

Those who love this city can use the things they find close to their heart as themes for their tattoos. You can personalize the tattoo by adding quotes related to New Orleans or your initials.

The best thing about this city is its French history. Hence, if you have always wanted to visit France but have been unable to, visiting New Orleans is the next best thing. The French quarters are beautiful, and there is so much to explore. You can add these elements when you are finalizing your tattoo idea.

Since these tattoos often have cityscapes, they are extensive and excellent as full-back-full chest tattoos. The possibilities are endless once you think about the aspects you want to include in your tattoo and talk to your tattoo artist about it.

Some New Orleans Tattoo Ideas For Great Body Art

If you have been looking for New Orleans tattoo ideas, here are some designs that may inspire you. You can personalize them according to your preferences.

1. New Orleans Fleur de Lis Tattoo

New Orleans Fleur de Lis Tattoo
Image Source: Pinterest @everytattoo.com

The fleur-de-lis is a traditional French symbol used in the French coat of arms for centuries. When the French established New Orleans in the 1700s, they brought the symbol with them, which survives to this date.

The French quarter of the city has this symbol in many important buildings and can also be seen in other parts of the city. It will be ideal if you want a minimalist New Orleans tattoo representing the city. It works best in the nape of the neck, the back of your hand, or above the ankles.

2. New Orleans Death Mask Tattoo

New Orleans Death Mask Tattoo
Image Source: Inkstinct.co

The multicultural population of New Orleans has resulted in the city hosting various festivals throughout the year. One of the festivals celebrated here is the Day of the Dead, also celebrated across the border in Mexico.

The Death Mask is often seen in the parades and makes for an exciting subject for your NOLA tattoo. It usually features a person with a skull mask and feathered headgear. Or, it could be an actual skeleton attributed with human-like qualities to celebrate the dead.

3. Carnival New Orleans Tattoo

Carnival New Orleans Tattoo
Image Source: Pinterest @Piercing Tattoo

New Orleans has several carnivals throughout the year, and the floats are as stunning and imaginative as you can imagine. They celebrate everything under the sun, and this tattoo depicts a snake float.

Reptiles are revered by many cultures worldwide, and you can get a snake or crocodile tattoo in keeping with the theme. The details and colors make this tattoo very interesting. You can also add additional details to personalize it.

4. Fleur-de-Lis Crucifix Tattoo

Fleur-de-Lis Crucifix Tattoo
Image Source: Pinterest@Brian Ragusin

The fleur-de-lis is a predominant symbol in New Orleans, and combined with the crucifix, it makes a beautiful pattern for a tattoo. This tattoo is a great choice if you want to combine the city’s religious and historical aspects.

This tattoo looks great in black and white or bold colors like navy blue, dark green, or red. The base of the neck, the upper arm, and the abdomen are good places to showcase the tattoo. You can also get a smaller variation if you want something more minimalistic.

5. Colored Animal Themed Tattoo

Colored Animal Themed Tattoo 
Image Source: Pinterest @Tattoo Armor

The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans in the historic district is home to several species worldwide. You can combine both if you are an animal lover and want a NOLA tattoo.

This tattoo shows the Red Panda, an endangered species, and a carnival mask synonymous with New Orleans. The colored tattoo is sure to stand out, and depending on how you are getting it done, it can be great as a full-sleeve or a full-leg tattoo.

6. New Orleans Flower Tattoo

New Orleans Flower Tattoo
Image Source: Pinterest @Justin Olivier

New Orleans is known for its greenery and parks, and the amazing weather sustains many flora and fauna. This amazing flower tattoo is a nod to the people of the city’s beautiful landscape.

While it may seem like a regular flower tattoo, you can personalize it by adding details that make it specific to the city. This tattoo looks beautiful on the hand, and the shaded nature of the tattoo adds details and dimensions that make it unique.

7. Mardi Gras New Orleans Tattoo

Mardi Gras New Orleans Tattoo
Image Source: Pinterest @MadameLtattoo

Mardi Gras is essential to the spirit of New Orleans, and this tattoo is a fun way to depict your love for the festival. This classic 2D tattoo features the colors like purple and gold that are essential to the festival.

Then, of course, it has shields and masks, and you can add other carnival elements if you want. You can make it as small or as extensive depending on your preference. The details would be more specific if you opt for a 3D tattoo.

8. New Orleans Carnival Mask Tattoo

New Orleans Carnival Mask Tattoo
Image Source: Pinterest @Future Image

Since masks are an essential feature of the Mardi Gras carnival, you can use them as interesting motifs for your tattoo. This classic tattoo features a happy and sad face, depicting the dualism of life.

This tattoo looks best in color, bringing out the details to the best advantage. An experienced tattoo artist will be able to add details that make it stand out. This tattoo is great for the hands and around the neck and shoulders.

9. Edgy Fleur-de-lis Tattoo

Edgy Fleur-de-lis Tattoo
Image Source: Pinterest @ Malissa Graham-Vanderveer

The fleur-de-lis is a recurring symbol in New Orleans, but it may not always be pretty and dainty. If you want an edgy yet beautiful tattoo, the fleur-de-lis with the skull combination will work for you.

The tattoo is highly detailed because it has motifs of 18th-century art, yet the skull in between makes it look like something out of a pirate movie! You can get this in black ink, but you may add some color. It works well for the back or the shoulders.

10. New Orleans Bourbon Street Tattoo

New Orleans Bourbon Street Tattoo
Image Source: Pinterest @Twitter Tracy Scianneaux

The historic Bourbon Street in New Orleans is known for its mesmerizing nightlife. This city attracts tourists from all over the country during times of festivals. You can opt for a full-back tattoo with all the elements you will come across at Bourbon Street, along with a road sign that depicts the name.

Be it the death mask, the carnival, or the fleur-de-lis, all of them can come together for a brilliant full-back tattoo. You can tell your tattoo artist about all the different elements you want to include in your tattoo.

11. New Orleans Skyline Tattoo

New Orleans Skyline Tattoo
Image Source: pinterest@Jonathan DjvThree Beter

The New Orleans skyline is as mesmerizing as it can get. The streets and buildings create a stunning view, and you can replicate it to an extent with your tattoo. Your tattoo artist can incorporate the freeways and the tall apartment buildings and add the elements that distinctly signify New Orleans.

Adding color to the tattoo would be an excellent way to highlight details. You can make the tattoo as extensive as you want, and it works best as a full-sleeve or a full-back tattoo.

12. New Orleans Masquerade Ball Tattoo

New Orleans Masquerade Ball Tattoo
Image Source: Pinterest @John Morales

New Orleans is known for its masquerades, and plenty is seen in the parades held in the city during various festivals. This stunning 3D masquerade tattoo is just what you need to make an impact with a medium-sized tattoo.

The tattoo depicts a woman holding a feathered half-mask midway across her face, with the right mix of allure and mystery. The colors in the mask add details and are the main element of the tattoo. It would be best to opt for an expert artist for this stunning 3D design.

13. New Orleans Royal Street Tattoo

New Orleans Royal Street Tattoo
Image Source: Pinterest @Voodoo Tattoos

Another historic quarter in the city is the Royal Street of New Orleans. Known for its antique shops, boutique hotels, and art galleries, this was a part of the original city when the French established it.

This tattoo depicts the city’s nightlife with the road sign, the bats at night, and the masks seen during the carnivals. This tattoo looks best in color, and you can add more elements if you want. You may also add texts related to New Orleans to personalize it more.

14. New Orleans Lamp Tattoo

New Orleans Lamp Tattoo
Image Source: Pinterest @ MadameL Tattoo

One of the most distinctive features of New Orleans is its street lamp. They are not the regular city lights that you see elsewhere. The lamps in the historical region of the city are built like the ones in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and you can replicate them in your tattoo.

If you want a small tattoo that is elaborate and stunning at the same time, this is for you. This tattoo looks best in color because a lighted lamp with a burning flame seems so calming and pretty.

15. New Orleans Port Tattoo

New Orleans Port Tattoo
Image Source: Pinterest @Duke Riley

The New Orleans port is one of the most prominent seaports in the country’s southeastern part, making it an essential commercial hub in the region. Apart from the large ships that dock here, plenty of smaller fishing boats, cruise ships, and piers are to be seen.

The seaport is as pretty as you can imagine, and you can bring this alive in your tattoo. To make it look distinctly like a New Orleans tattoo, you can also add the fleur-de-lis. This tattoo looks fantastic in black and white, especially if you want to concentrate on the outline of the ships and piers. But you may add color if you want as well.


You may have some questions if you are considering getting a New Orleans tattoo. Here are some answers that will help you in the process:

How to make a New Orleans tattoo more distinctive?

To make your New Orleans tattoo stand out and ensure that it’s distinctive from tattoos related to other cities, you have to add some unique elements. That includes the fleur-de-lis, the road signs like Bourbon and Royal Street, or some architecture that is unique to the city.

Is a New Orleans tattoo very expensive?

Unless you get a comprehensive full chest, full-back tattoo, or even a full-sleeve one, a New Orleans tattoo will cost like the rest. A minimalist tattoo with just the fleur-de-lis will cost you about $80.
The costs will go up accordingly if you get anything more comprehensive or something with lots of color. You should speak to your tattoo artist about the size and color of the tattoo if you are on a budget.

How long will it take for a New Orleans tattoo to heal?

A minimalist tattoo can take about three weeks to heal completely. However, if you opt for something more elaborate that shows the New Orleans skyline or the port, then it will take longer.
It could take about six to eight weeks for a full-sleeve or full-back tattoo to heal completely. In the meantime, you should avoid exertion and keep the tattoo clean to promote healing.

Will a New Orleans tattoo cause allergies?

Unless you are allergic to the ink, no tattoos will cause allergies. If you are prone to allergies, speak to your tattoo artist, and they will do a patch test. You may be allergic to some pigments and not to others, so it is vital to do a patch test if you intend to opt for a very colorful tattoo.


New Orleans can take your breath away when you set foot in the city. The sprawling parks, the fantastic buildings, the plethora of museums and antique shops, and, most importantly, the carnivals at certain times of the year make this city truly unique.

You can add all these elements to your tattoo and create a unique design that reflects the spirit of the city and your love for it. People will love to decipher the various aspects depicted in the tattoo, which will be your way of remembering this fantastic city.

About Author

Jonathan Corby "Jonny" is a guy who is passionate about Tattooing and successfully running a Tattoo Studio in NY. Through my journey as a Tattoo Artist I have made unforgettable memories. This irrational poetry and sense of freedom of art on skin has given a blissfull experience to my life. Each Tattoo has a story behind it; Lets share one!